On 10th June 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Huntsman, a global manufacturer of industrial chemicals, and PSES, “Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry”, a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Huntsman and GIZ will cooperate to improve the management of chemicals in 10 textile mills in Bangladesh. The initiative forms part of Huntsman’s role in the ZDHC, the Zero Discharge of Hazardour Chemicals programme of 17 leading apparel and foot ware manufacturers, to help the industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products by 2020. By joining hands, both GIZ and Huntsman will be able to support the development of industry-wide best practices in Chemical Management and on-the-ground implementation to contribute to a cleaner environment and increased environmental accountability. It is planned to roll out the initiative to other countries in the region.
GIZ has been successfully conducting trainings in Bangladesh by using its Chemical Management (CM) tool which includes practical measures for proper handling and storage of chemicals, improving workplace safety, achieving cost savings and complying with environmental laws. Huntsman will work hand-in-hand with GIZ and bring in expertise on the optimization of washing and dyeing processes.
Mr. Peter Gregory, Brand & Retail Marketing Director of Huntsman Textile Effects, explains: “Huntsman has been doing business in Bangladesh successfully for the last 42 years. We plan to upscale our sustainability services and offer more environmentally friendly products for Bangladeshi suppliers of textiles. By joining hands with GIZ we will be able to engage with factories and bring the best out of their production efficiency and environmental compliance. Our international staff will also receive training from GIZ on their chemical management toolkit, and we plan to replicate this process in other factories and other countries as well”.
As Mr. Magnus Schmid, Program Coordinator of PSES, puts it in his opening speech: “Textile factories in Bangladesh should take environmental issues more seriously. Our Chemical Management program has trained 60 consultants from at least 20 service providing organizations so far, and we look forward to create a greater impact by partnering with Huntsman. Through our training and this partnership we shall contribute to achieve the goal of eliminating the use of hazardous substances from the production process.